Soil remediation industry encounters reality
On May 31, the highly-acclaimed "Soil Pollution Prevention Action Plan" (abbreviated as "Tokuji") was formally issued by the State Council to make a comprehensive strategic plan for the prevention and control of soil pollution in China in the coming period. The official introduction of "Tokuji" means that following the prevention of air pollution and water pollution, soil pollution will become another area for China's heavy fist management. What impact will soil pollution control have on the development of the environmental protection industry and how will related companies face the upcoming broad market?
There is a short board for local matching funds
Industry analysts pointed out that in terms of optimizing economic development, implementation of the "Tokuji Article" is expected to drive GDP growth by about 2.7 trillion yuan, which can increase the number of employed people by more than 2 million. By 2020, it is expected that the new output value of the environmental protection industry will be about 450 billion yuan.
According to a deputy division-level official who declined to be named, according to the Ministry of Environmental Protection, in general, the cost of agricultural land remediation and remediation ranges from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars per acre, and the cost of soil remediation and repair of contaminated land ranges from a few hundred per cubic meter. Yuan to several thousand dollars. Ren Hong, an associate professor at the School of the Environment at Renmin University of China, also stated that even if the phytoremediation method with low cost of soil remediation is adopted, the cost of repairing each hectare of arable land will reach 300,000 yuan, and the total amount of funds required will be as high as 6 trillion yuan.
Although the soil pollution control market prospects are promising along with the introduction of the "Tokuji", there are also people in the industry who believe that they cannot be "too optimistic." Mainly reflected in the large gap in local funding, business model has not been established, a diversified investment market has not yet truly formed, the project to promote basically rely on central funds. Some provinces have only 8% of local funds in place, which has seriously affected the driving role of central funds.
Wu Wenchao, deputy chief engineer of the Solid Waste and Chemicals Management Technology Center of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, told reporters that since China's environmental protection fund management system focuses on one allocation, after the funds are in place, no matter how late the management is, whether it is construction, operation, or evaluation, many jobs are missing. Eventually, the entire project was found to have problems in a large area during the later audits. The central government did not dare to continue investing.
Hao Xin, deputy general manager of Beijing Construction Engineering Environmental Restoration Co., Ltd., said that due to the serious shortage of local matching funds, it has hindered the continued funding of the central government. Some local projects are too difficult to get, and the number is limited and the market cannot be cultivated. “Some companies have only received two or three projects within three years and have been operating at a loss for most of the time,” said Hao Xin.
A person in charge of an environmental protection company believes that the soil remediation costs huge amounts of money, but in the "Tokujo", the source, channel, and innovation of fiscal funds are insufficient. "Of course we want more money to invest in this market, but we are still more inclined to wait and see the changes. The soil remediation industry is currently intertwined with multiple issues of technology, capital, and management, and there is still a long way to go." Say.
However, Wei Li, general manager of Beijing High Energy Era Environmental Restoration Co., Ltd., said that this phenomenon is only temporary. With the increasing efforts of the government's environmental protection work, the soil remediation industry is expected to usher in the “spring” in the next 2-3 years. .
Independent innovation and professionals need to break through the bottleneck
In view of the current problems in the soil remediation industry, Forward-looking Industry Research Institute believes that the soil remediation industry can eliminate bottlenecks in development, and can proceed from increasing technical input and introducing PPP model to solve financing. The government's investment in the industry focuses on the technology research and development, and then through the PPP model to solve the financing problem of the soil remediation industry, which is conducive to the rapid development of the industry.
According to Wei Li, the current status of China's soil remediation industry is: “Technology is short of innovation, talent is not short of expertise, and there is no shortage of funds at the site, and the effect is not short of time.” Wei Li said in an interview with reporters : "If the state further refines and refines the relevant laws and regulations and norms, and further encourages independent innovation by scientific research institutions and enterprises, enterprises can take the initiative and develop in the direction of specialization. The Red Sea can also become a blue ocean."
Deng Lichang, director of the Office of the Environmental Protection Bureau of Ji County, Hebei Province, pointed out in an interview with a reporter from the China Enterprise News that grassroots environmental protection supervision, with the exception of manpower and tasks, is the lack of professional and technical personnel. "A lot of law enforcement officers do not understand, indistinct, and inaccurate the process, equipment, and pollution control facilities in the heavy metals industry," said Deng Lichang.
"It is grass that eats, it is milk that squeezes out." Professor Liu Yangsheng of the School of Environmental Studies at Peking University pointed out vividly when talking about the situation of soil pollution in China. He believes that the core issue of the soil remediation industry is technological innovation, and the country needs to increase capital investment. The emphasis is not on pushing many demonstration projects. Instead, it is necessary to increase investment in technological innovation, and to demonstrate well in technology development. The state should invest funds in front-end scientific research and pay attention to the use of talent.
According to Liu Yangsheng, soil remediation in China can be divided into three major areas: site restoration, farmland soil remediation, and mine site remediation. For the remediation of contaminated sites after the relocation of industrial sites, domestic companies mainly copy foreign technologies and equipment. However, the domestic geological structure is different from that of foreign countries, and the imported technologies still have problems of digestion and absorption. Liu Yangsheng said: "Many companies in China do not understand this principle and directly use things from abroad. This is not conducive to the deployment of professionals. This is wrong."
Specialization will become the only way for industrial development
According to industry sources, the reporter pointed out that soil remediation in China is still in the early stage of industrial development and needs government departments, research institutions, and environmental protection companies to jointly promote. As an environmental remediation executive, a specialized company will play an active role in the formulation of standards, technology transformation, industrial models, and industrial alliances.
In response, Shen Wanhongyuan’s macro analyst Li Huiyong analyzed in an interview with a reporter from the “China Enterprise News” that according to the “Ten Shi” requirements, most of the moderate to all moderately polluted soils must be up to standard, and ecological restoration can be expected. The market space for the safe use of related sub-sectors such as soil wind control and pollution source control will be further opened. He thinks this will be good news for professional companies.
Gao Yanli, general manager of Beijing Construction Engineering Environmental Restoration Co., Ltd., pointed out in an interview with a reporter from China Enterprise News that from our experience in sewage treatment for many years, the higher the degree of specialization, the better the market’s favor and the more basic The environmental factors, the soil is closely linked with water and atmosphere, and the concept of specializing in environmental restoration will be an important factor in solving soil pollution. “With the further landing of the “Tokuji” policy, there will be more environmental protection companies that will devote their attention to professional subdivisions to drive the rapid development of the industry,” Gao Yanli said.
Wei Li believes that in China's contaminated site remediation industry, most companies lack specialized operations and innovative ideas, so it is difficult to form large-scale development in the segmented areas.
According to Li Huiyong, the reporter introduced that in the future, the national soil pollution control will be extended from the current single city relocation of industrial and mining plant area contaminated sites, to a wider pollution surface, more difficult to repair farmland, mine water areas. The implementation process of soil remediation projects is generally divided into three parts: investigation and risk assessment, restoration engineering and acceptance assessment. This means that the soil remediation industry in the future will gradually develop into a complete industrial chain covering many aspects. If the business process is divided, there will be two types of professional enterprises in the soil remediation industry: one is a soil remediation project-based enterprise, and the other is a third-party survey, assessment, and consulting enterprise. Li Huiyong believes that with the further landing of the "Tokuji" policy, future professional soil remediation companies will usher in a new space for development.